Photo: Avery Helm; Credit: University of Florida athletic association
You may not know much about Florida Gators rising sophomore cornerback Avery Helm right now. That's okay: The Missouri City, Texas native appeared in just one game as a true freshman and logged a total of 19 snaps in that contest.
There's a reason you should know about Helm now, though. With roster attrition taking a toll on the Gators' secondary, young players such as Helm are expected to take a step forward and contribute meaningfully during the 2021 season and beyond. Helm, athletically, is making a case for himself to earn some playing time.
On Tuesday, Florida cornerbacks coach Jules Montinar shared on Twitter that Helm recorded a 4.3-second 40-yard dash as the team underwent athletic testing drills. Helm's father posted a screenshot of Helm jumping 40 inches in the vertical test as well.
A 4.3-flat 40-yard-dash would be a better result than any of the 16 participants in Florida's pro day event, ahead of the likes of cornerback Marco Wilson (4.35), wide receiver Kadarius Toney (4.38), and tight end Kyle Pitts (4.44). His jump would have been second-best, only behind Wilson's 43-inch result.
Helm suffered an ACL injury late in his junior season at Fort Bend Marshall High School, which lowered his recruiting ranking and naturally led one to wonder how his athleticism would translate to the next level. It's safe to say that Helm's knee injury hasn't limited his athleticism at all, and he very well could be the most athletic member of both the Gators' secondary and entire roster.